Archive: February 2015 - Spinland Studios, LLC

Using Adobe After Effects to “Fake” 3D Animation

  • February 25, 2015

First things first: I mean no disrespect to After Effects. It's one of the sharpest tools in my proverbial shed and it's incredibly powerful. I use it constantly, and love it. It comes with a nice suite of tools described as 3D but, as someone who usually works in "true" 3D modeling and animation, I consider most of them to be more like "2.5D". Editor's note: It's only the end of the first paragraph and already I tossed out some potentially confusing jargon. My bad. Let me clarify: 2.5D ("two-and-a-half-dimensional"), ¾ perspective, and pseudo-3D are terms, mainly in the video game industry,...

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Turning an Illustrator logo design into a 3D animation

  • February 25, 2015

One of the fun things I do is creating so-called "flying logos" based on a client's logo design. The result helps breathe life into a company's branding, catching the customer's eye with flashy movement and lighting effects (and a sound track, if the final product isn't an animated GIF file). Imagine your corporate video or explainer starting out with something like this: How do you go from a flat, 2D logo design to this? In my case, the key is how my 3D modeling, animation and rendering software, Lightwave3D, handles what are known as "paths." Those are the outlines of the shapes the original...

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Leveraging Nanotech in Utica Even If You’re Not Technical

  • February 23, 2015

I've seen some cynicism—to some degree justified—about the new jobs promised by the Nanotech industry because many of them are tech jobs that most out-of-work locals can't qualify for. To that I point out that all businesses have an impact greater than just their internal employment. Even after construction is done they will always need a myriad of goods and services to operate. This is a prime time to think outside the box and set yourself up to become a provider. Don't wait for job interviews, go out and make your niche happen. Utica's Small Business Development Center is ready, willing...

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The Importance of your Personal Brand

  • February 19, 2015

I believe this topic can be summed up beautifully with a single object lesson: To that I'll add an amplifying quote: "Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room." ~ Jeff Bezos Really, I think that about covers it. Have a great day! Check out my website at www.spinland.studio for some examples of really cool computer animations I've created over the years.

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Spinland Static Art: Called Out

  • February 19, 2015

So...okay, yeah: I'm something of a science fiction and fantasy geek. I also dig dragons—have you noticed? In that vein, I think Jedi knights are cool. Since dragons are also cool, why shouldn't one be allowed to become the other? Thus was born the idea for this piece. I envisioned a dragon-ish Jedi traveling to an inhospitable-looking planet to call out the resident Sith to face justice. The working title, "Called Out" was a fairly obvious pick. For the caption, because I like those to be semi-humorous, I came up with, "Why should mammals have all the fun?" The dragon, Sith and Jedi spaceship...

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Semper Fi

  • February 15, 2015

As a scrawny bookworm of a kid with a bad attitude and a big mouth I was never Marine material. Several of my family and friends have been, though, and some still are (there's no such thing as a former Marine so there's that, too). I read this fun little anecdote today and it reminded me of them, with pride, so I decided I'd share it. Here's to them! A large group of ISIS fighters in Iraq are moving down a road when they hear a voice call from behind a sand dune: "One Marine is better than ten ISIS fighters." The ISIS commander quickly orders 10 of his best men over the dune where a gun battle...

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Spinland Static Art: Negotiation

  • February 6, 2015

Sometimes the idea for an image starts with a caption. Forever etched into geek lore is Yoda's challenging question, "Judge me by my size, do you?" The implied empowering of someone small and apparently weak resonated strongly with me as a rather non-athletic teen in the heyday of the original Star Wars trilogy. I wanted to set up a scene where two opponents, one large and obviously powerful and one small and not-so-obvious (anyone who knows anything realizes you don't muck around with faerie queens: they are bad ass), were facing off on equal footing. Of course, an excuse to inject Yet Another...

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Spinland Static Art: Wake-up Call

  • February 3, 2015

It's no secret: I dig fantasy themes—especially dragons. Along for the ride are the rest of the typical fantasy elements: castles, knights, faeries. Being a 3D artist gives me somewhat free rein to indulge all the above. The idea for this piece germinated from the memory of the box cover to an obscure, old board game from many years ago. The main takeaway was a castle about to be attacked by—ta da!—a dragon. While pondering how I was going to approach the concept I decided I wanted an exercise in contrasts: something peaceful and serene, about to be interrupted most unpleasantly. From there,...

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